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New York Times, fitflops The Telegraph, The Guardian

Inaugural lecture


You peer through last season's Ikea blinds to see the neighbor's parking space, where a sulking Dyson now flipflop garnishes a skip filled with construction rubble, dotted with the broken fragments of a once craved avocado bathroom suite. Next to it, a sun yellowed CRT monitor showing UV decay, like a scorched tourist nearing the journey's end. We produce 40 tonnes of waste to make a tonne of products, and 98% of these products are dumped within just 6 months of purchase. In a world smothered in people and products, it must be questioned what beyond a conventional understanding of functionality is all this 'meaningful stuff' really for, and why does it transform into 'meaningless rubbish' so quickly?


This lecture challenges the throwaway society, presenting a broad panorama of design tools, methods and frameworks that build resilience into the relationships established between users and products. Enhancing resource efficiency and brand loyalty by designing things that people want to keep for longer an approach Professor Chapman calls 'emotionally durable design'. This ongoing research has shaped design and business thinking at some of the world's leading consumer brands, from sports products at Puma, to advanced electronics concepts at SONY.


Jonathan Chapman is a Professor of Sustainable Design and Course Leader of the MA Sustainable Design a postgraduate course, which he co wrote and launched (2009). Over the past decade, his teaching, consultancy and research have grown from their early polemical and activist roots, to developing strategic counterpoints to the unsustainable character of contemporary material culture.


Today, Professor Chapman is considered a key contributor to the discourse(s) on sustainability and design, internationally; receiving significant levels of critical acclaim from the UN, New Statesman, New York Times, fitflops The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, several features and interviews on BBC Radio 4 (Something Understood, Material World, Click On and The Today Programme) and the New Scientist, who described him as a 'mover and shaker and, 'a new breed of sustainable design thinker'.


He has written two books; his monograph, Emotionally Durable Design: Objects, Experiences Empathy (Earthscan, 2005) and his co edited work, Designers, Visionaries and Other Stories: A Collection of Sustainable Design Essays (Earthscan, 2007). Since publication in June 2005, the term 'emotional durability' has been adopted by designers, students and educators around the world, providing valuable shorthand for the fitflop australia complex and manifold factors that determine the endurance of 'value' and 'meaning' in a given object. As a result, the book has been widely adopted by professional designers at some of the world's largest design led corporations including SONY and Samsung. The book is also core reading at many of the world's leading Design schools from Parsons, The Royal College of Art, Stanford and TU Delft to Seoul National University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Tsukuba.


In addition to writing several contributing chapters in peer reviewed books (2008, 2009, 2010) and research papers in scholarly journals such as Design Issues (2008, 2009), he was invited to stand before the House of Lords (2008) and present formal evidence as part of their Enquiry into Waste Reduction; advising on the development of EU environmental policies for the design and disposal of electronic products. He has been employed as a consultant for The Science Museum (UK), the London Design Festival (UK), Alfred Dunhill, Clarks International, MISTRA (The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research), FitFlop, NHS and H He is currently engaged in a broad range of consulting activities with world leading sports lifestyle brand, Puma.


Professor Chapman is a member of several sustainability advisory boards, including Puma, D and the Design Museum. He is also co founder of the Inheritable Futures Laboratory, a reviewer for Earthscan Publishers, The Taylor Francis Group and Berg, and a member of the Editorial Advisory Group for the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice (Intellect Books). He was guest editor of the Journal of Engineering Design (2009).

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